Join us at ArtReach St. Croix for a special evening of poetry with both Manfred and Smith reading from their latest works. Discussion and signing to follow, books available for purchase, refreshments served.
Freya Manfred is one of our truth-tellers, and in this new book of dream and memory, she speaks with the wry tenderness that comes when a woman can say “Now I’m the mother of the mother of me.” I started making a list of my favorite poems in Speak, Mother, and it grew to include every poem in the book. This is a book you’ll keep on top of that stack of books by your reading lamp; this is a book you will want to share with everyone you know.
– Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate
The Glory, by Thomas R Smith
Thomas R. Smith’s new collection, The Glory, serves many glories—those of the natural world, of the American democratic dream, and of various individuals who do us all credit. Yet, while remaining celebratory, Smith always looks unblinkingly at human history, “the thuggishness of ourselves,” reminding us how we are “gravely / and fairly judged” by the wild creatures who encounter us warily. While ranging from the micro—an “insect hum”—to the macro—“the spill of the Milky Way”—and in between invoking such icons as Woody Guthrie, Rachel Carson, and Nelson Mandela, Smith always exemplifies Simone Weil’s claim that paying attention is the highest form of prayer—his steady and reverent attentiveness to the world in which he finds himself is the armature of this book. - Philip Dacey